Foods To Eat On A 20 Hour Fast
Since a 20 hour fasting only allots a four-hour eating window, the foods you eat during this intermittent fasting window are crucial to refueling your cells and getting the most out of IF.
Remember that your body will be converting fat into ketones, so its important to fuel your body with plenty of healthy fats and fatty whole foods.
The best choices include nourishing whole foods like:
How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu, or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
Drink lots of water. People tend to think theyre hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
Watch less TV: I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being a little hungry is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a true mind-body connection that helps you recognize fullness.
Examples Of Different Intermittent Fasting Schedules
If youre considering giving fasting a shot, there are a few different options for working it into your lifestyle.
Daily Intermittent Fasting
Most of the time, I follow the Leangains model of intermittent fasting, which uses a 16hour fast followed by an 8hour eating period. This model of daily intermittent fasting was popularized by Martin Berkhan of Leangains.com, which is where the name originated.
It doesn’t matter when you start your 8hour eating period. You can start at 8am and stop at 4pm. Or you start at 2pm and stop at 10pm. Do whatever works for you. I tend to find that eating around 1pm and 8pm works well because those times allow me to eat lunch and dinner with friends and family. Breakfast is typically a meal that I eat on my own, so skipping it isn’t a big deal.
Because daily intermittent fasting is done every day it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. Right now, you’re probably eating around the same time every day without thinking about it. Well, with daily intermittent fasting it’s the same thing, you just learn to not eat at certain times, which is remarkably easy.
Weekly Intermittent Fasting
One of the best ways to get started with intermittent fasting is to do it once per week or once per month. The occasional fast has been shown to lead to many of the benefits of fasting we’ve already talked about, so even if you don’t use it to cut down on calories consistently there are still many other health benefits of fasting.
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The Benefits Of An Extended Fast
Obviously, you can’t fast for 24 hours every day because, you know, food is essential for life.
So if you do want to experiment with these longer autophagy-inducing fasts, you’ll have to strategically space them out.
“My opinion is that a longer episode without any caloric intake done a few times per month over decades is likely the best approach for preventing chronic diseases because it is feasible to do consistently over a lifetimethe period of time that chronic diseases like coronary artery disease and diabetes develop,” says Benjamin Horne, Ph.D., a genetic epidemiologist who conducted a trial evaluating the effectiveness of a once-per-week 24-hour water-only fast.
Fasts up to 36 hours have also shown promise for people with type 2 diabetes, says Pedre, but these would absolutely need to be done under the supervision of a medical professional.
She Tweaked Her Plan For Special Occasions
Over the holidays, Etienne-Mesubi continued with intermittent fasting but gave herself an expanded eating window of six or eight hours. We were celebrating, and I have no regret and no guilt for extending my window, she says. Even though I allowed myself extended time to eat, I didnt go crazy. I still enjoyed myself and my time with my family and kids. It was so freeing to know if I want to eat longer I can, and if I dont feel like eating anymore Im going to stop, she says.
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How Quickly Will I Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
The amount and rate of weight loss people achieve with intermittent fasting depends on various factors, including their eating habits and current weight. With alternate day water fasting and the 5:2 overweight and obese individuals typically lose up to 8% of their body weight in 12 weeks.
You may experience slower weight loss with daily time-restricted eating , but if you increase your protein, fruit, vegetable, fiber, and plant fat intake and reduce your carbohydrate intake, even just at some meals, youll probably see more rapid weight loss. Some people also find that early time-restricted eating stops their late-night empty calorie intake, which can help a lot with both weight loss and metabolic health.
The important thing to remember is that fasting has benefits beyond weight loss, including better sleep, better blood glucose control, lowered insulin levels and greater cellular recycling. Learn more about the weight loss and other benefits of fasting here.
Intermittent Fasting Increases Several Fat Burning Hormones
Hormones are chemicals that act as messengers. They travel through your body to coordinate complicated functions, such as growth and metabolism.
They also play an important role in the regulation of your weight. This is because they have a strong influence on your appetite, the number of calories you eat, and how much fat you store or burn .
Intermittent fasting has been linked to improvements in the balance of some fat burning hormones. This could make it a helpful tool for weight management.
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Im Trying To Fast But I Feel Like Its Reducing My Energy Levels Is This Normal
It is very normal to feel tired or to have low energy levels when you first start fasting. This can also happen when you first start a new fasting schedule. But if you stick with a set intermittent fasting schedule or fasting duration for 2-3 weeks, you should adapt and have similar energy levels during your fasting windows or days as during your eating windows or days.
However, if you continue to feel tired or to have low energy levels while fasting, you may be overdoing it. You may fasting for too long too often, or not getting enough calories in during your eating windows. If you are already at a healthy BMI, reduce your fast durations or spread your fasts further apart.
To boost your fasting energy levels, you should also:
What Are The Benefits Of The 12
Greek Physician Hippocrates and Athein and philosopher Plato are among the early proponents of the benefits of fasting to improve health, thousands of years back. Plato fasted for better physical and mental productivity. And according to Hippocrates, our food should be our medicine, and to eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness . Fast forward to today, modern science agrees that having a full stomach all the time is not ideal.
After eating, many new proteins are produced in the brain, and during fasting, the body also produces few new proteins. Therefore, cells are prompted to obtain protein from non-essential sources, convert them, and use the amino acids to make new proteins needed to survive.
The benefits of intermittent 12-hour fasting include:
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Ive Made The Decision To Fast So How Long Should I Fast For
There arent any studies right now that state exactly how long one should fast. Researchers, like Dr. Peterson, are working on that. The minimum amount of time it takes to make fasting efficacious hasnt been proven via study, but the prevailing notion is its somewhere between 12 and 18 hours. But it can take a few days sometimes weeks of fasting regularly for your body to start burning fat for fuel. Brooke Alpert, nutritionist and author of The Diet Detox, suggests starting by moving your last meal to around 7 p.m. She said the reason for this is our bodies are better at doing some things at certain times. Our bodies are better at processing sugar in the morning than at night, said Dr. Varady. So eat bigger meals in the morning, for example.
And how often do you have to do daily intermittent fasting to see the benefit? Again, there hasnt been a study thats shown exactly how many days you need to fast, but a recent study in rodents showed they get about the same benefits fasting five days per week as they did fasting every day. The great thing is that were learning is that this type of fasting isnt all or nothing, said Dr. Peterson.
So Does It Matter How Long You Fast
Interestingly, the researchers report there are no differences between the two fasting groups in terms of weight loss or any other health markers. Without major differences, the UIC study suggests giving yourself a larger window to eat in may be a more convenient option.
Its also telling that there was no added weight loss benefit for people who sustained a longer fast until we have further studies that directly compare the two diets or seek to study the optimal time for fasting, these results suggest that the 6-hour fast might make sense for most people who want to pursue a daily fasting diet.
Fortunately, researchers also find no serious health problems or complaints among the study participants. Although mild adverse events such as dizziness and headaches were reported by some, these were limited primarily to the beginning of the study.
The study is published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
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What Is Prolonged Fasting And How Long Can You Safely Fast
Fasting is natural to us. Or at least it used to be
Fasting has been part of human nature since the beginning of time. Until relatively recently, food was not so readily available. To survive, early humans needed to store energy from food as body fat to survive the times when food was scarce. If the human body did not have an efficient storage and retrieval method of food energy, we wouldnt have survived until now.
When it comes to fasting length, if youre a healthy person , you shouldnt worry that a few days without food will starve you. The longest-lasting hunger strike in recorded history was undertaken by an Irish political prisoner, Terence MacSwiney. He went for 74 days with no food. Disclaimer it did not end well for him.
Nevertheless, an average person nowadays is accustomed to regular meals and our bodies are not used to no-food-days anymore. Therefore, we strongly suggest limiting your prolonged fast to a maximum of 72 hours and undergo longer fasts only under medical supervision.
Why would people even put themselves under this challenge of giving up one of the greatest pleasures in our lives food?
And do it voluntarily for hoursor even days?
Heres what science says about some of the benefits of prolonged fasting and the prolonged fasting results you could expect.
Intermittent Vs Prolonged Fasting: Which Is Better For Weight Loss
Fasting, the intentional restriction of calorie intake over a period of time, has numerous health benefits including weight loss, protection against disease and improved longevity . It comes in many forms, the most popular for weight loss being prolonged and intermittent . Both methods have different advantages and disadvantages depending on your lifestyle but which is better for weight loss?
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Intermittent Fasting May Affect Men And Women Differently
There is some evidence that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for some women as it is for men.
One study showed that blood sugar control actually worsened in women after three weeks of intermittent fasting, which was not the case in men .
There are also many anecdotal stories of women who have experienced changes to their menstrual cycles after starting intermittent fasting.
Such shifts occur because female bodies are extremely sensitive to calorie restriction.
When calorie intake is low such as from fasting for too long or too frequently a small part of the brain called the hypothalamus is affected.
This can disrupt the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone , a hormone that helps release two reproductive hormones: luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone (
For these reasons, women should consider a modified approach to intermittent fasting, such as shorter fasting periods and fewer fasting days.
Intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. To reduce any adverse effects, women should take a mild approach to fasting: shorter fasts and fewer fasting days.
Intermittent fasting not only benefits your waistline but may also lower your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases.
The Biggest Challenge I Had To Overcome
I think I assumed that the most difficult thing would be getting through the days when I didn’t eat anything. I went from eating around 2,500 calories a day to fewer than 2,000 every other day, so it was a huge change. But because I was so determined to change, somehow that wasn’t the hardest part.
For me, the biggest challenge was finding my love for lifting weights.
I started adding physical activity about six months into my weight-loss journey. I would run on the days I wasn’t fasting. When I had dropped 85 pounds, I began lifting weights, too.
When I began, it was something I just could not enjoy. I found it hard to lift and felt like I wasn’t making progress. I couldn’t see the calories I was burning, unlike when I was on a treadmill. As I pushed myself to continue and get more into it, though, the physical difference was apparent and I was hooked!
Now that I have gotten down to a healthy weight, I work out six days a week, lifting weights on my fasting days and running on my eat days.
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How Much Weight Can You Lose From Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is not a quick weight loss fix. It might take your body a few weeks to start shedding the extra pounds.
Do not expect to drop up to 20 pounds within your first week of intermittent fasting.
Like many diets, you need to remain consistent and make lifestyle changes to get results.
It might take a few weeks for you to drop your first pound from intermittent fasting. However, once you start, you can expect to lose about a pound each week. Some people can lose up to 10 pounds each month.
Therefore, your body type will determine your results.
Helps Reduce The Risk Of Developing Diabetes
By improving blood sugar control and blood sugar levels through burning fat stores instead of glucose, your risk of diabetes is lowered by fasting routinely.
Additionally, you can lower levels of blood triglycerides by either long or short-term intermittent fasting, helping to lower cholesterol in your body that might cause diabetic issues later on.
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Hour Fast For Increased Hgh
Higher serum HGH levels are associated with improved muscle mass, better memory, reduced water retention, and more. HGH levels tend to inversely correlate with cortisol levels, meaning they can rescue the body from a high-stress state.
One study involving 200 people found that fasting for 24 hours increased HGH by a factor of 20 in men and 13 in women.
This exponential change explains why IF is so renowned for triggering sudden changes in mood and appearance.
Focus On What You Eat Too
Focusing on fasting and the benefits it can bring is definitely important, but dont forget the eating part too. Focusing on eating a healthy and balanced diet should be the first step, in my opinion, to optimize your health before looking into other beneficial behaviors like fasting.
Food is not just calories, not just energy. You can find a calorie in a bag of chips , you can also find it in a broccoli. Do those 2 calories have the same value for your body? For your health? Of course not.
There is such a thing as empty calories. They wont bring you any micro-nutrients, any vitamins. And most likely wont be beneficial to you. Food is information for your body. Food is medicine. Please keep that in mind as its undervalued, still to this day.
Thats why I recommend focusing on your diet first if you havent optimized it yet. Depending on where you start, and there is no wrong starting point, shifting to a healthier diet might already help you not only lose some weight but also feel more energized throughout the day.
Then once your diet is better, and it doesnt have to be perfect , you can consider proceeding with a fast, that might help further with weight loss as well as all the other health benefits we mentioned above.
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